10/24/13 The Plymouth High School Marching Band competed in the Indiana State School Music Association’s Regional competition this past Saturday at Lafayette Jefferson High School. This year, the band is competing in Open Class B with some of the best bands in Indiana.
This year, the state music association reformatted the competition structure for the state adding a new “Scholastic Class” for smaller and developing school marching programs. The former system (Classes A, B, C, and D) are now re-named “Open Class.” There is also a beginning level form of competition called “Festival Class” in which bands are only given judge’s comments instead of rankings.
“Open Class competition is definitely the hardest level of competition. This class is designed for the more experienced and advanced-level bands in the state. Only Open Class has state finals in Lucas Oil Stadium,” said band director Bryan Ames. “Plymouth just barely falls into the Class B guidelines based on school size. We are the smallest competitive band in our class and our school just barely meets the school size required of Class B bands. The Plymouth Band that made state finals in 2010 was a Class C band in which we were one of the larger schools in that class.”
Regardless of size, the “Pride of Plymouth” has had an extraordinary season this year placing over bands that annually make state finals. “We have had a great showing this year. Even though we are smaller than a lot of the bands in our class, we have still placed over an annual state contender at almost every event we have attended,” said Ames.
At the Lafayette Jefferson Regional, one third of the bands in Class B were going to be eliminated from this season’s competition. “We knew it could be close and we knew we were going to have to give our best performance of the season. Our show is very strong visually and from a general effect standpoint. We always score very high in those areas, but we knew we were going to have to play better to move on.” Plymouth High School did advance to the semi-state competition placing over several outstanding band programs. “This was the fourth time in our band’s history that we have advanced out of the Regional contest. Amazingly, this year’s senior class has been responsible for three of those trips to semi-state!”
The band will now perform at Pike High School in Indianapolis this Saturday for the final qualifying event for the state finals. “Last year was very disappointing for us as we were 11th band at semi-state and ten qualify for finals. We just barely missed it and we were so close that it was heart-breaking. We are going to give it our all this weekend for sure and we have added a lot of extra rehearsal time to our schedule this week.”
Class B competition at Pike will begin at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) and will finish around 6:00 p.m. Plymouth performs at 3:10 p.m. near the middle of the event. The state finalists will be announced at approximately 6:15 p.m.
“This has been an amazing season for our kids. The entire season has just flown by so quickly and that is a really good thing. Time flies when you are having fun and this group of kids has been a true joy to work with. I wish them the absolute best of luck and hope they have a performance we can all be proud of. This year’s senior class has been a part of some of the best years our marching band has experienced and I hope they end their career with a great show,” said Ames.
Good luck to the “Pride of Plymouth” as they prepare for Semi-State! Congratulations on a great season. Competition information can be found on the band’s website at www.prideofplymouth.com.